#1
hi,

first of thanks for looking but lets get to the point i have bought a mahalo travel guitar i think the proper name i a guitalele a bit of a tongue twister but it has nylon strings, it's like a mini clasical guitar but can i put steel strings on it cause i like the sound of steel strings but i don't know if it would break it .

thanks james

ps. sorry for my terrible grammer and spelling
#2
Nylon strings are under less tension than steel strings so the top is made thinner and the internal braces are lighter allowing the instrument to vibrate more, giving you better volume.
The extra pressure that steel strings put on a nylon guitar can, over time, cause the top to pull up, cause braces to come loose, and even pull the bridge off the guitar! Also, most nylon string guitars do not have internal neck reinforcement (truss rod) like steel string instruments do. This will cause the neck to pull forward causing the distance of the strings from the fret tops to decrease greatly making the instrument difficult to play. The tuning gear rollers on nylon instruments are also different. They are normally made from plastic which will not support the pressure of the steel strings. The shafts may break under the extra pressure.

TL;DR: You can put steel strings on them, but it could break the guitar and the sound of the steel strings would be tinny and not as nice.
#3
There's a reason when you buy a nylon guitar, no one puts metal strings on it.

Steel has FAR MORE tension than nylon.
On something that small, you'd have to put a lot of tension on it.
It'll break and you won't be happy.
#5
i have one of those. i like it, it's handy to carry around in the car, but i don't feel it's well made. i wouldn't risk putting steel strings on it myself. btw, it's got an approx 19 3/4" scale, so tension is quite low. you do have the option to try different tension nylon strings and different brands. some have a much nicer tone to my ear than others.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#6
Yes, as others said, no nylon strings on this instrument.

I have one, and have a couple tips about it. First of all, it isn't as good as other guitaleles like the Yamaha GL-1, but it is a good deal for the price. ($35 on Amazon). Also, being a little larger than the GL-1, the Mahalo Guitar-uke's fingerboard is a little less cramped.

My suggestion. Yes, stay with nylon strings. But do not keep the strings that come on it. They are terrible! Buy a decent set of classical guitar strings. (I would suggest normal tension, but YMMV.) Do not, however, tune it to regular guitar tuning, even if they told you that in the store. That wouldn't harm the instrument, but it will not sound good, and the strings would be way too floppy. Tune them a fourth higher, to what is called requinto or guitalele tuning. From string 1-the highest--A, E, C, G, D, A. With new strings tuned to that tuning, it will sound pretty good.

If you think that that tuning will require re-learning chords, and notes, etc., not really. You can play it just the same as with normal tuning. You can think of the chords and notes with the same note and chord names as before. You just need to be aware, if you are playing with others, or trying to find a good key to sing with, that it will sound a perfect fourth higher than those note and chord names. (If you are playing guitar by yourself, that doesn't even matter at all.)
#8
hi,
its me again, what tension would sthe guitar best ?

many thanks james
#9
Quote by bigjam3
hi,
its me again, what tension would sthe guitar best ?

many thanks james


I would suggest trying a set of normal tension classical guitar strings (with the tuning I suggested). Those work for me. If you then feel that the strings are too tense, or not tense enough, you could switch to to a high tension or light tension set.
#10
Would very light electric guitar strings have the same effect as acoustic steel strings on the guitar ?
#11
Quote by bigjam3
Would very light electric guitar strings have the same effect as acoustic steel strings on the guitar ?


I think others have told you already--do not put steel strings on that guitar--no kind, no way!

Guitars built for nylon strings (as that one is) cannot handle steel strings, and it could easily ruin the instrument. Even more so with a cheap instrument like that.

As I said, put on classical guitar (nylon) strings, and for the best sound, tune it a fourth higher, to AECGDA (beginning with string 1).
#12
i used to do that with an ovation. the strings sounded just terrible on it - really bad.

Quote by bigjam3
Would very light electric guitar strings have the same effect as acoustic steel strings on the guitar ?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!